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Iran's Expediency Council Accused Of Acting Unconstitutionally


The former president and the head of Iran's Expediency Council, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, has opposed President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in the past.

The former president and the head of Iran's Expediency Council, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, has opposed President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in the past.

An aide to Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has criticized the work of a powerful advisory body as being inconsistent with the country's constitution, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Ali Akbar Javanfekr, Ahmadinejad's adviser for press affairs, said on November 9 that the members of the Expediency Council "should definitely change" the way they do their job.

Founded in 1988, the Expediency Council is chaired by former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. The council was initially set up to resolve disputes between the parliament and the powerful Guardians Council, which can veto legislation passed by lawmakers.

According to U.S.-based political analyst Majid Mohammadi, the Expediency Council and parliament are the two obstacles to the growing power of the Iranian government.

"The members of the Expediency Council, specifically Hashemi Rafsanjani, have visibly been in disagreement with Ahmadinejad's government," Mohammadi says.

Mohammadi says he believes that it is the executive branch that currently has the upper hand in Iran. The government does not consider the Expediency Council necessary as there are no serious disputes between the parliament and Guardians Council.

Ahmadinejad recently said, "The parliament is not on top of the country's affairs."

Ahmadinejad's government believes the parliament's sole duty is to confirm what the government proposes, Mohammadi says.

Ahmadinejad adviser Javanfekr also said that parts of the constitution needed to be revised to enable the government to discharge its duties without any "unwieldy obstacles."

"Both the establishment and its opposition unanimously believe that the constitution should be revised," analyst Mohammadi says.

The opposition believes that the constitution does not meet the demands of the people, Mohammadi adds, while the leadership finds the constitution a hindrance to its monopolization of power and wealth.
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